Mary Ann's Blog

My Trip to Sicily

Over the years, I have made several trips to Sicily and I am now just returning from a long stay on the western and southeast areas. Sicily is huge, the largest island in the Mediterranean and lush with fruits and vegetables. I saw so many prickly pear tree farms and oran…

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Designer Pumpkins

Oh, don't we know it is pumpkin season! The barista making pumpkin lattes, bakeries selling spice flavored pumpkin donuts and muffins, fields of the deep orange globes dotting the countryside, and neighborhood homes all decked out with pumpkins and Indian corn at the door…

Easy As Pie

You are either in one camp or another when it comes to fresh fruit pies. Do you like them runny or thick? I know it’s a personal preference thing but I like my slice of pie on the thick side not just for presentation’s sake but because the filling stays put. &…

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Breaking the Ho Hum of Restaurant Menus

Reading a restaurant menu can be boring sometimes.  Going out to dinner should be as is often said, a dining adventure, a treat and a time to relax when a day out of the 24/7 kitchen is a good idea. So when the opportunity comes my way, I look forward to enjoying foo…

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Tips For Finger LIckin’ Five Napkins Baby Back Ribs!

Love baby back ribs? Me too and I have a few tips on how to get the best flavor.  1) Look for the best meaty bone in ribs; bone gives flavor.  2) Season them well with a mixture of salt and coarse black pepper that is combined first in a bowl; if you…

Old Gravenstein Apples

Up the hill near my vegetable garden stands an ornery, old apple tree, the only one I own. For years before I bought the property, it had been neglected until one day I stooped to pick up a withered apple near its trunk. Curiosity got the best of me. I cut off the “…

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Squash Plain and Fancy

Squash, both summer and winter varieties, come in many shapes and sizes. Some are plain and some are fancy. Some have brilliant colored skins, others have artful shapes, but all are delicious, good for you, and easy to prepare. Just about everyone can get zucchini…

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Tomato Gratin

A tomato gratin is a good and delicious way to use up extra summer tomatoes.  Tomato Gratin Extra virgin olive oil 4 cups ciabatta bread cubes diced 1-inch 2 garlic cloves minced 5 cups cut in half cherry tomatoes 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar Grinding black p…

Make Mine Minestrone

Got too many veggies coming in all at once from your garden? Get out the soup pot and make minestrone, a sure way to use up summer’s bounty. Freeze some for those nasty winter days ahead. Minestrone SoupServes 8 ¼ cup olive oil1 large onion, peeled and diced2…

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Renette, The Little Queen of Apples

The humble apple can most certainly be declared the most powerful of all earthly fruits when we consider its ancient biblical origins and the consequences eating one had for Adam and Eve. Northern Italy, especially the Trentino-Alto Adige region, has had a long history o…

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